As part of our March 450th events programme, which celebrates Jesus' Welsh connections, Dr Mark Williams (1998, Classics and English) explores Thomas Vaughan, Henry Vaughan, Magic, and Alchemy.
The twin brothers Henry and Thomas Vaughan (both born 1621 in the parish of Llansanffraed, near Newton upon Usk) were both steeped in hermetic thought. Henry became one of the greatest devotional poets of the age, while Thomas became a natural philosopher, producing a series of complex and mysterious treatises on alchemy and magic, the latter being nothing less - he wrote - than 'the Wisdom of the Creator reveal’d and implanted in the Creature.' This talk introduces the work of both brothers, introducing Thomas's mysterious and abstruse works and explaining the influence of magic on Henry's poetry.
Mark Williams is Associate Professor of Global Medieval Literature and Fellow and Tutor in English at St Edmund Hall. He studied for his MPhil and DPhil in Celtic Studies at Jesus College and was Lecturer in Celtic 2017-19.
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